WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amid fervor regarding Affordable Care Act provisions that allow members of Congress to receive government contributions in the purchase of health insurance, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said lawmakers shouldn’t get such assistance.
Capito’s announcement came after the U.S. Office of Personnel Management issued a proposed rule that, while members of Congress and their staffers cannot be part of tax credits for plans purchased under the exchange, they can still receive employer contributions to health insurance premiums.
“These proposed regulations implement the administrative aspects of switching members of Congress and congressional staff to their new insurance plans – the same plans available to millions of Americans through the new exchanges,” said Jon Foley, OPM Director of Planning and Policy.
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.
But Capito doesn’t think that’s fair.
Upon returning from recess in September, Capito said she plans to introduce the No Obamacare Subsidies for Congress Act of 2013. This legislation would eliminate the option of members of Congress to receive up to 75 percent of assistance in purchasing health care.
“This is really about members of Congress getting subsidies that are not available to the general public,” Capito said. “I think it’s outrageous that we would get subsidies, and I know the American people feel that that is a misguided way. If Obamacare is good for everybody, it’s good for Congress.”
Capito, who has never supported the ACA, said the OPM rule is a sign of weakness in the implementation of the law.
“I think that (the administration) realize(s) that this is exceedingly unpopular,” Capito said. “It is unprepared for implementation in January, and it’s a train wreck.”
Despite her disapproval of the ACA, Capito said health care reform is needed.
“There are too many people that are uninsured or underinsured,” Capito said. “We should have done a bipartisan bill that would have reached more people, afforded more health insurance and not turned over health insurance basically to the federal government and not put government between you and your doctor, which is what this does.”
Those participating in the insurance exchanges will begin signing up Oct. 1, and coverage is set to begin Jan. 1, according to an Associated Press report.